While it isn't one of the goals I set for myself earlier this year, I took a little detour after being inspired by @rogerclark and his recent score on Come to Life Challenge. The issue with the goals I previously set for myself was that they were much too broad. I've been able to slowly pick away at my long term goal, but the serving size may be a little too much to consume. While I had set up the long term goal, I always forget about finding the short term goals. Even though getting my first Level 18 AAA was beyond the scope of my goals, it was something that was within my reach. Having a close rival nearly reaching that milestone helped kick my motivation into high gear.

To get that AAA on an 18, I needed to look through all the songs within that level. Which chart catered to all of my current strengths? What 18's do I have a high score on? Maybe take a crack at Come to Life Challenge like @rogerclark did? Or even Astrogazer Challenge? They might be at the easier end of the 18's range, but they still have some tricky sections that I'm not comfortable with yet. Eventually I narrowed it down to Triple Journey -TAG EDITION- Challenge being my target song to AAA. The only thing that proved to be difficult were the few crossover sections, but it was all about raw foot speed, which was something I had practiced a lot during my time playing In The Groove.

I went to D&B on Thursday to try it out. It was hard to stay warmed up since there were some other players there playing between our sets, but I managed to get a new personal best of 984k on Triple Journey before the arcade closed.
Triple Journey -TAG EDITION- 984,150

Still fired up, I went back to D&B the next day to shoot for the AAA on Triple Journey again. I fed myself more before this session, loaded up on my pre-workout, and I was ready to go. Saw that a few people were at D&B for DDR already, but they left early so we had the machine to ourselves for several consecutive sets. This was ideal for getting the kind of warm-up I wanted. Once I was feeling good about playing Triple Journey again, I made it happen. Nailed every crossover in the middle section so I was on a good pace. The last run came, and even though I didn't hit the last crossover, I still managed to get that AAA by the skin of my teeth. I was so hype that I wish I had remembered to take a video to capture that moment.

Triple Journey -TAG EDITION- AAA 991,280

This session caused me to reconsider how I set my goals for DDR. There are simply way too many songs to focus my attention on that I may need to narrow the scope of my goals even further. I had been thinking about this idea of going back to as early as DDR SuperNOVA and practice the songs I have trouble with from there. Everything from EXTREME I had played to death, so familiarity isn't an issue there. Though starting with SuperNOVA, songs like Fascination MAXX and Healing-D-Vision have been giving me all sorts of trouble. Maybe I can grind them out and they'll eventually click in my brain? Who knows. One thing's for sure is that the more I play something, the better I'll get at it.